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GAA gate receipts dropped by 14% and attendances fell by 18% last year

The football championship decreases were particularly striking in 2018.

Galway and Limerick players line up before last year's All-Ireland final.
Galway and Limerick players line up before last year's All-Ireland final.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE GAA RECORDED notable decreases in gate receipt and attendance figures in 2018, as outlined in their annual financial report which was released this morning in Croke Park.

Attendances overall fell by 18%, with both the football and hurling All-Ireland series seeing a reduction by that figure, with gate receipts slipping overall by 14%.

The football statistics are most striking though. Attendances fell from year on year from 628,618 to 515,763 despite the number of games increasing from 33 to 39 in the All-Ireland senior championship.

Gate receipts subsequently were reduced in football by 23% to €12.7 million from a total of €16.4 million in 2017. 

There are factors to explain the drop-off such as the increased number of games seeing fans pick and choose when to support their county, a traditional county like Mayo making an early summer exit and the fact that 2017 saw two major All-Ireland series replays. 

In hurling there were fewer matches in the All-Ireland qualifier series in 2018 due to the championship restructure that saw the introduction of the round-robin format in the provinces. 

GAA/Croke Park Financial Reports Media Briefing The GAA released their annual financial reports today. Source: Piaras Ó Mídheach/SPORTSFILE

The attendances were 348,905 in 12 games in 2017 and 286,703 in the eight games in 2018, which did include a semi-final replay between Clare and Galway. Hurling championship gate receipts were €10.2 million in 2018 after a figure of €10.8 million had been recorded in 2017.

Gate receipt figures for the football league fell by 7%, the hurling league was increased by 1% and other competitions dropped by 37% (€1.2 million to €0.8 million) while term tickets remained the same.

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Fintan O'Toole

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